Malta to implement OSCE/ODIHR hate crime training programme for law enforcement
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) signed an agreement with the Maltese authorities on 2 February 2017 to implement ODIHR’s Training against Hate Crimes for Law Enforcement (TAHCLE) programme.
The programme is designed to be integrated into existing training efforts and to draw on local resources. The standard TAHCLE curriculum will thus be customized to the hate crime context of Malta, to its laws and criminal justice procedures.
"This agreement with ODIHR is an important one," said Kevin Mahoney, Permanent Secretary at the Matlese Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security. "The TAHCLE programme will help us raise awareness on the subject and improve our effectiveness when dealing with this category of criminality. It will also help us build sufficient capacity to ensure that the Academy for Disciplined Forces cascades such training to a wide range of law enforcement officers, including both community and specialist officers."
"We augur the success of this programme and look forward to further cooperation with the OSCE," he added.
ODIHR Director Michael Georg Link said: "I commend the Maltese authorities for clearly demonstrating the will to transform their commitments to address intolerance and bias-motivated crime into action. Individual police officers and their role in preventing and responding to hate crime are at the centre of our approach. More trained law-enforcement personnel will strengthen the ability of the Maltese criminal justice system to provide robust and swift responses to hate crimes.”
The TAHCLE programme, launched in 2011, provides tailor-made training for law enforcement officers aimed at strengthening their skills to recognize, understand and investigate hate crimes. Twelve OSCE participating States have committed to implement the programme: Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Turkey, Finland, Iceland and Estonia. The Spanish city of Valencia and Kosovo are also implementing TAHCLE.